Publication Abstract

Authors: Litzelman K, Kent EE, Mollica M, Rowland JH

Title: How Does Caregiver Well-Being Relate to Perceived Quality of Care in Patients With Cancer? Exploring Associations and Pathways.

Journal: J Clin Oncol 34(29):3554-3561

Date: 2016 Oct 10

Abstract: Purpose Perceived quality of care (QOC) is an increasingly important metric of care quality and can be affected by such factors among patients with cancer as quality of life and physician trust. This study sought to evaluate whether informal caregiver well-being was also associated with perceived QOC among patients with cancer and assessed potential pathways that link these factors. Methods This study used data from the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) consortium. Patients with lung and colorectal cancer enrolled in CanCORS (N = 689) nominated an informal caregiver to participate in a caregiving survey. Both groups self-reported sociodemographic, psychosocial, and caregiving characteristics; cancer characteristics were obtained from the CanCORS core data set. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the association between caregiver psychosocial factors and subsequent patient-perceived QOC, controlling for earlier patient-perceived QOC and covariates. Secondary analysis examined potential pathways that link these factors. Results Patients whose informal caregiver had higher levels of depressive symptoms were significantly more likely to report fair or poor QOC (odds ratio, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.13). When caregivers reported fair or poor self-rated health, patients were more than three times more likely to report fair or poor perceived QOC (odds ratio, 3.76; 95% CI, 1.76 to 9.55). Controlling for patient psychosocial factors and physician communication and coordination of medical care reduced the effect size and/or statistical significance of these relationships. Conclusion Informal caregivers are an important part of the care team and their well-being is associated with patient-perceived QOC. Engaging informal cancer caregivers as part of the care team and conducting ongoing risk stratification screening and intervention to optimize their health may improve patient-reported outcomes and QOC.